Impressive Ancient Architectural Landmarks of Chennai

Chennai is often outshined by other tourist hotspots and needs to be more well-known. However, Madras, as it was previously called, is a buzzing hub for art, commerce, food, and culture and provides an entirely distinct experience from the rest of the country. The recently inaugurated metro rail makes getting around the massive city even easier. Chennai has a breath-taking exhibit of Indo-Saracenic architecture, and ancient Indian architecture, through commercial and modernist buildings. Building contractors in Chennai will be able to explain how important these different structures are for us and to learn about architecture. Some ancient Chennai buildings with architectural and historical significance are described in detail.

An Overview of Government Museum, Railway Station, Ripon Building & Madras High Court

The four significant building of the capital of Tamil Nadu that stands out for their excellence in architecture are elaborated on below. 

Government Museum

The Government Museum in Chennai, founded in 1851, is stretched across the sixteen-acre Pantheon Compound, which contains the Bronze Gallery, Contemporary Art Gallery, and Museum Theatre. The National Gallery of Art’s façade is in the Indo-Saracenic style, and the Museum Theatre is in the Italianate style, India’s second-oldest museum. It houses the world’s most extensive collection of ancient Roman artifacts from the era when seafaring Romans arrived during Emperor Augustus’ reign.


Central Railway Station 

If you’re an architect visiting Chennai for the first time, the railway is the first thing you should see. You’ll arrive at Chennai’s iconic old brick-red station, Tamil Nadu’s best architectural attractions, teeming with vendors, red-shirted porters transporting suitcases, and passengers busily moving here and there. The Indian Railways operates the world’s fourth-largest rail network, with Chennai Central serving as the busiest station in South India. It was built in 1873 as the “gateway to the south” during colonial rule. The building’s architecture combines Gothic and Romanesque styles, and its stone tower complements the adjacent Ripon Building. Building contractors in Chennai consider these architectural structures as illustrations for their work till today.


Madras High Court 

The Madras High Court is another Indo-Saracenic structure that spans 107 acres. JW Brassington designed it, finished in 1892 by British architect Henry Irwin. The complex features a stunning array of minarets, domes, two lighthouses, and stained-glass windows. The High Court facility is located in Georgetown—a settlement from which the city of Madras flourished.


Ripon Building

The Ripon Building, not far from the Central railway station, stands out with its looming facade—a striking illustration of neoclassical architecture. The structure was labelled after Lord Ripon and inaugurated in 1913. The Ripon Building now houses the workspaces of the Chennai Corporation, and tourists are usually not permitted to enter its premises. Nonetheless, it’s worth a visit to check on the architecture.

Important Building in Chennai Renowned for Architecture


The other essential structures well-known exclusively for their architecture in Chennai are:


Higginbotham’s, India’s oldest book chain, is headquartered in Chennai. The store was founded in 1844 by Abel Joshua Higginbotham, who arrived in India as a fugitive on a British ship. In 1904, the bookstore relocated to its present location on Anna Salai Road. Although this construction in Chennai is ancient, the Palladian architecture stands out. The interior of the building features geometric black-and-white floors, high ceilings, stained-glass panes, and an arched wooden staircase. 

Valluvar Kottam

Valluvar Kottam was built in 1976 to honor Thiruvalluvar, the greatest Tamil poet of all time. While little is known about him, it is presumed that he was born between the fourth and first centuries BC, and his legacy is still celebrated today. His magnum opus, Tirukkural, is a 1,330-couplet epic about living a virtue-filled life. Each of these couplets is inscribed in the main hall of Chennai’s Valluvar Kottam. The monument’s most striking feature is an ornate one hundred- and a twenty-eight-foot replica of a chariot enclosing a life-size monument of the poet himself.

St. George’s Fort

The Legislative Council Chambers are now housed in Fort St. George, initially designed during the colonial era and served as an essential trade hub for the East India Company. The building, which overlooks the Bay of Bengal, serves as the seat of the Tamil Nadu government, and it is on Rajaji Salai Road in Chennai. The St. George Fort complex dates back to 1644 and perfectly demonstrates military history and architecture.

Top Religious Architectural Centres in Chennai

Kapaleeshwar Temple 

The Kapaleeshwar Temple is a temple dedicated to Shiva Kapaleshwar. The original temple complex, built in the 7th century CE by Pallavas, was destroyed at the time of Portuguese intrusion, and the Santhome Church was constructed in its place. The glorious Vijayanagar dynasty later rebuilt the current Kapaleeshwar Temple in Tamil Nadu, which continues to stand in all its splendor in the heart of Chennai.

Armenian Church 

The Armenian Church, situated on Armenian Street, was built on the ruins of Chennai’s Armenian cemetery in 1772. It is a protected historical monument as the history and architecture are impressive. The church houses six massive bells weighing around 150 kilograms and ranging in size from 21 to 26 inches.

Thousand Lights Mosque

One of India’s largest mosques is the majestic Thousand Lights Mosque. The three-acre structure is a cultural icon in terms of tourism and heritage. It is believed that 1000 lights were needed to light the hall when it was built in 1810 in medieval architecture, hence the name. The mosque complex includes massive minarets and domes that reach heights of approximately 64 meters. Aside from being a primary pilgrimage site, the mosque is a must-see for the history, architecture, and unparalleled beauty it preserves.

Annai Velankanni Church

The Annai Velankanni Church is a famous landmark and tourist destination in Chennai, attracting hundreds of visitors worldwide. This massive church building was built in 1972, and it is worth a visit just for the glorious architecture and magnificent exhibition of history, culture, and art. The church is near the bus stop in Sriperumbudur, Chennai, and is best accessed by road.


Last But Not Least

Apart from all these, the Senate House, Freemasons Hall, and Prakasam Salai are epic places that showcase beautiful architecture. Best building contractors in Chennai look upon all these architectural buildings in dismay even today.